Meet The Chicago Physical Therapists
Meredy Parker has been practicing physical therapy for over 20 years and specializes in pelvic girdle (back, hip, groin and abdominal) pain, pregnancy and post-partum musculoskeletal issues, spine and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. She received her B.S. in Physical Therapy from The Chicago Medical School in 1996 and completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Andrews University in 2008.
Dr. Parker founded Meredy Parker Physical Therapy, LLC (Now Chicago Physical Therapists) in 2009 and has grown the practice over the years to include five specialized and experienced physical therapists all with the shared vision of providing the highest quality care in a comfortable, personalized setting.
Meet Meredy Parker PT, DPT
Meredy has received post-graduate training through the Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine in manual medicine as well as The Herman & Wallace Institute of Pelvic Rehabilitation, and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Women’s Health.
She has also been trained in advanced manual skills such a urogenital mobilization as well as Trigger Point Dry Needling. Meredy’s research on diastasis rectus abdominis and lumbo-pelvic pain and dysfunction was published in the APTA Women’s Health Journal. Her career began at Cook County Hospital in 1996 where she first became interested in specializing in women’s health issues.
Meredy was later instrumental in starting a women’s health program at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. She deepened her skills in treating complex pelvic pain conditions as well as urogynecological post-operative cases when she was part of an extensive mentoring program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago between 1999 and 2001.
Meredy has also had the opportunity to work alongside renowned Urogynecologists at Loyola University Medical Center while serving as one of their women’s health Physical Therapist specialists from 2002-2005. She began her private practice on Ravenswood in Chicago in 2009 with the vision of offering individualized, skilled, and compassionate care to every client that walks through the clinic door. Meredy enjoys running by the lake with friends and loves to spend time in the mountains hiking, biking, skiing and snow shoeing with her family.
• Alesha Riley, PT, DPT
Alesha has been a physical therapist since 2007, specializing in orthopedic conditions and women’s health. She is especially passionate about working with people who suffer from chronic pain and perinatal women. Her work encompasses women with other pelvic conditions including pelvic joint pain, pain with intercourse, in addition to urinary and fecal urgency, frequency, and incontinence.
Alesha completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Physiology at Saint Louis University in 2005. She continued her education to procure a Masters and ultimately a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.
During graduate school, she worked post-operatively with total joint replacement patients as a physical therapy aide. Her post graduate education has included Mechanical Diagnosis & Treatment of the spine and extremities through the McKenzie Institute, and Perinatal & Pelvic Floor Therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association
Alesha further honed her skills in orthopedics and pelvic health over the course of 10 years at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She had the unique opportunity to work in the Chronic Pain Center, where she collaborated with a multidisciplinary team to treat people with debilitating chronic pain. This experience significantly enhanced her understanding of pain and the importance of treating the whole person.
Alesha believes that one of the most powerful tools in rehabilitation is understanding one’s condition. She integrates education, and prioritizes the concerns and goals of each person, to create an individualized plan to fit into his or her life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, running, and attending the theater and ballet.
• Amy Goldstein PT, DPT
Amy has a strong passion for the physical therapy profession specializing in sports medicine and general orthopedic conditions. Amy uses a hands-on approach through manual therapy to effectively treat her patients. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 and a Bachelors degree in Community Health from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 2008.
While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Amy worked as a personal trainer where she prided herself on teaching exercise and proper body mechanics in a one-on-one setting.
Amy’s expertise lies in her keen diagnostic abilities and ability to synthesize form with function. She has successfully guided many patients through the rehabilitation process of post operative care, as well as treating nagging aches, pains, and musculoskeletal injuries of the "weekend warrior." She is skilled in manual therapy with instrumentation using the latest evidence-based modalities. Amy uses video gait analysis to view, analyze, and correct running form to help patients achieve their running goals and reduce injuries. Amy prides herself on creating an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on their needs and desires. Getting her patients back to their healthy selves, be it exercise, sports, or regular daily activities is her ultimate goal.
• Anita Chellete-Cunningham, PT
Anita Chelette-Cunningham has been treating patients in a variety of clinical settings for 20 years, specializing in pelvic girdle dysfunction.
Anita can assist adults (men and women) as well as pediatrics. Her primary focus includes urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, pregnancy and post-partum musculoskeletal dysfunction. Anita has demonstrated expertise in pre-op prostatectomy and post -op prostatectomy incontinence issues, and adult and pediatric constipation diagnosis.
She has been recognized for completing specialized course work as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.
Anita’s experience as a highly specialized Physical Therapist has enriched her understanding of neurologic, orthopedic, gastrointestinal, urologic and obstetric and gynecological interventions and procedures.
She is especially proud of implementing the pelvic health program at several different hospitals, including Schwabb and Christ Hospital and Presence St. Joseph. Anita’s dedication has lead to a specialized program for treating pre and post – op prostatectomy patients. Finally, her clinical work has identified an often over-looked population with pelvic floor dysfunction, namely pediatric patients.
Anita earned a BS. From Western Illinois in 1988, her Masters Degree from Texas A & M in 1991 (Kinesiology) and a second Bachelors Degree in Physical Therapy (1996) from the University of Illinois. While pursuing her multiple degrees, she enjoyed working as Certified Athletic Trainer treating these athletes on those campuses. Anita has also earned her certification as Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Her education and clinical practice as a pelvic floor specialist have been enhanced by attending these courses: Manual therapy course at Achieve Orthopedic Rehab Institute, manual therapy skills in Visceral Manipulation, The Herman and Wallace Institute of Pelvic Rehabilitation and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section of Women’s Health.
In Anita’s free time, she is an avid cyclist and prior to having a family, she enjoyed racing bikes. Currently, she prefers to spend most of her time with her husband and three children (ages 14 and 10 year old twins), and racing after their 4year old dog, Zeus.
• Catherine Lewan PT, DPT
Catherine is a lifelong learner and enjoys the challenge of keeping up with research and applying it clinically so her patients can get back to the activities that they love. She has been teaching movement for more than 20 years, has completed more than 1,000 hours of yoga, meditation and Pilates training, and has been certified as a personal trainer, comprehensive Pilates Instructor, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist.
In addition, Catherine earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 and has C-IAYT and E-RYT200 credentials.
Catherine is an orthopedic manual therapist and pelvic floor specialist with a special interest in women’s health, chronic pain, and hypermobility spectrum disorders. She utilizes a variety of advanced manual therapy, application of current neuroscience research, and integrative mind-body techniques for a patient-centered and holistic approach to treatment.
Catherine leads continuing education courses for physical therapists, yoga, and Pilates professionals nationally. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Orthopedic and Women’s Health sections, the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and is a registered Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) through Yoga Alliance. Learn more about Catherine and explore resources for mind-body healing on her website, www.catherinelewan.com.
• Kate Nugent Shean MPT
Kate graduated from Northwestern University Medical School Program in Physical Therapy in 1998 and has specialized in restoring orthopedic dysfunction since. She is passionate about continuing education for herself and her patients. Education is a key component in her treatment programs, tailored to a patient’s need to understand the changes in their own body and prevent injury recurrences.
She served as the Clinical Coordinator for Northwestern Orthopedics as well as Adjunct Faculty at Northwestern Physical Therapy Program.
Kate takes a holistic approach to treatment and has studied functional nutrition science for the past 10 years. Our bodies will heal optimally when provided proper nutrition with a focus on minimizing inflammation and restoring balance.
Kate has post graduate education in MacKenzie Method for back pain, gait and running evaluation, Myofacial Release, Rocobado method for cervicogenic headaches and has extensively studied Cranio-Sacral and various energy therapies.
• Laura Gleason PT, DPT, OCS
Laura has been a Physical Therapist since 2005. She enjoys treating a wide variety of diagnoses and takes pride in her individualized approach to caring for each patient. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University, later completed an orthopedic residency, and became board certified in orthopedics (OCS) in 2011.
Laura has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is passionate about helping women regain strength needed for motherhood and return to activities they love. Laura also specializes in treating runners and is skilled with Video Gait Analysis. She is a Certified Running Technique Specialist (Pose Method), has worked with many local running groups, and served on the medical team for the Chicago Marathon for many years.
In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters, instructing fitness classes for moms, and teaching small group programs to provide guidance and support to postpartum women through her company, Beyond the Bump Wellness.
• Annika Michaels, PT, DPT
Annika holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
Before embarking on her career as a physical therapist, Annika ran a fitness studio with her family in her hometown of Portland, Maine. There, she found her passion for functional fitness and holistic health that shapes her approach to physical therapy today.
As a physical therapist, Annika is committed to empowering her patients to live well in all aspects of their lives. She balances her evidence-based, integrative approach with gentle guidance, education and a sense of humor.
She specializes in general orthopedics as well as sports medicine, drawing on her background as a former collegiate athlete and personal trainer. Annika is SFMA Level 1 certified and has also completed coursework in gait analysis, sports-specific rehabilitation, and kinesiotaping. Annika enjoys working with patients on return-to sport rehabilitation, exercise training, return-to-high-level-training after baby, pre/post-surgical rehabilitation of any joint, and personal training.
• Jessica Connelly, PT, DPT
Jessica graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and a concentration in Chemistry in 2009. She went on to study physical therapy at Touro College in New York, earning a dual degree in Health Sciences and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She began her career working in orthopedics in New York City and began specializing in Womens Health and Pelvic Floor physical therapy in 2014.
Her special interests include pregnancy and postpartum, neurologic conditions, bowel dysfunction, and oncology. Jessica moved to Chicago in 2016 and has continued her work at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (formerly known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Her continuing education coursework has included the pelvic floor series at Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and visceral manipulation with the Barral Institute. In her free time Jessica enjoys cooking, running, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband and son.